All posts in Education & Psychology

Jim Coll

Top Stories – October 2015

Here are a few of the most recent, best headlines from The University of Southern Mississippi. Each month, this post is a great reminder for me that we have a lot of awesome people completing a lot of awesome work at USM. SMTTT!

Demolition Begins at Gulf Park Campus to Pave Way for $7 Million Business and Health Building Project

Five modular units housing classrooms and offices for the colleges of Business and Health are being torn down to make way for a $7 million facility that will provide 25,000 square feet of space for students, faculty and staff. The Business and Health Building Project has an estimated completion date of May 2017.

The project is being funded from $3.5 million appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature and an additional $3.5 million appropriated by the legislature for general repairs to, and restoration of, Southern Miss facilities.

The building’s classrooms, breakout rooms and conference rooms will serve as a shared resource for all academic disciplines on the campus. The colleges of Business and Health will occupy separate spaces on the second floor. More than 30 faculty offices have been outlined in the building design.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/demolition-begins-usm-gulf-park-campus-pave-way-7-million-business-and-health-building-proje

Favre Among Seven to be Inducted into USM’s Alumni Hall of Fame

The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association will induct seven of the University’s most dedicated and distinguished alumni into its Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 16, as one of the highlights of the 2015 Homecoming celebration.

The inductees include Three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre and Tom “Bones” Malone, who is best known for being a member of The Blues Brothers band, the Saturday Night Live Band, for which he served as leader from 1981-85, and the CBS Orchestra, the house band for the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/favre-among-seven-be-inducted-usm-s-alumni-hall-fame

USM Foundation Announces Scholarship to Honor Fallen Police Officers

The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation has announced the establishment of the endowed scholarship in honor of Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, who were killed in the line of duty on May 9 of this year. The first recipient is Bailee Alexander, a nursing student from Purvis whose father, Jason, is a lieutenant with the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office.

The scholarship will provide support to a Southern Miss student who is the child or grandchild of a police officer, firefighter or paramedic/EMT.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/usm-foundation-announces-scholarship-honor-fallen-police-officers

Counseling Psychology Students Continue Graduate Program’s Success on National Exam

Recent graduates of the University’s master’s degree program in counseling psychology achieved a 100 percent passing rate on the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

Passage of the NCE is a qualifier for licensure as a professional counselor in many states and for National Certified Counselor (NCC) status. The exam assesses knowledge, skills and abilities considered important in providing effective counseling services.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/students-continue-graduate-program-s-success-national-exam

Social Work Earns $1.2 Million Health Insurance Grant to Expand Health Initiative Outreach Efforts

The School of Social Work at The University of Southern Mississippi has been awarded more than $1.2 million in Affordable Care Act funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The funds will help consumers sign up for affordable Health Insurance Marketplace coverage in 2016.

With Marketplace Open Enrollment beginning Nov. 1, the funding will support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-school-social-work-earns-12-million-health-insurance-grant-will-expand-outreac

Jim Coll

Top Stories – June 2015

Protecting American soldiers on the battlefield, innovating methods to assist children with language disorders, partnering with Boeing on next-generation polymer materials, and researching the manner the which dolphins communicate–it’s all in a month’s work at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Here are some of the top news stories from USM this month.

U.S. Army Awards $4.9 Million to Southern Miss for Helmet Liner Research

The United States Army has awarded a $4.9 million research contract to the University for development and evaluation of a helmet liner designed to provide enhanced head protection for warfighters.

The Southern Miss Pneumatic Cushioning helmet liner was developed in the laboratories of Dr. Jeff Wiggins, director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, in collaboration with Dr. Trent Gould, associate dean in the College of Health and professor in the School of Kinesiology, and Dr. Scott Piland, assistant director and associate professor in the School of Kinesiology. The objective of this two-year program is to develop next-generation pneumatic cushioning systems which exceed the blunt impact performance standard of current helmets.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/us-army-awards-49-million-southern-miss-helmet-liner-research

DuBard School’s New Products Now Available for Teachers of Students with Dyslexia

Teachers, speech-language pathologists, dyslexia specialists and other professionals who work with individuals with dyslexia/specific learning disabilities in reading now have access to a new product to aid in the remediation of dyslexia.

The University’s DuBard School for Language Disorders has released the Language Enhancement and Achievement Program (LEAP), a program for students who struggle with reading, writing and spelling.

LEAP’s highly specialized multisensory curriculum allows the student to quickly progress through sound-symbol associations and key skills. LEAP was piloted and has been used at the DuBard School for six years, and internal research shows the program’s effectiveness. On average, students diagnosed with a reading disability improved their ability to read unfamiliar words by 64 percent after 48 hours of instruction (one semester).

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/new-products-now-available-teachers-students-dyslexia

Southern Miss, Boeing Strengthen Partnership with New Master Agreement

As a technology incubator for Boeing, Southern Miss has entered into a new master agreement with the aviation giant to accelerate research and development of next-generation materials, including polymers and polymer matrix composites. The new agreement builds on a decade-long working relationship between USM and Boeing, which currently has a research contract to utilize the assets of the Accelerator – the University’s business incubator.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-boeing-strengthen-partnership-new-master-agreement

Professor, Dolphin Research Featured in National Geographic Cover Story

Dr. Stan Kuczaj’s expertise on the popular marine mammal has earned him international recognition for his study of the species’ cognitive and communicative abilities, including in a recent edition of National Geographic.

In the May 2015 issue’s cover article titled “Thinking Like a Dolphin: Understanding One of the Smartest Creatures on Earth,” Kuczaj research examines dolphin use of sounds and other signals as a mode of communication. Kuczaj heads the Department of Psychology’s Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory. The laboratory’s projects have received grant support from the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Commerce, among others. His work has been featured on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Japanese Public Television.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/professor-dolphin-research-featured-national-geographic

Jim Coll

Top Southern Miss Stories for February 2015

Each month I share a brief summary of some of the top Southern Miss stories with University leaders for their use as they interact with various stakeholders. The compilation of that short list is always a good reminder for me of all the amazing people and activities taking place on our campuses.

Here is what I shared for February. SMTTT!

Our top students continue to demonstrate they belong among the nation’s best.

Kristen Dupard and Jeremy Moore have been selected to attend the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), set for March 6-8 at the University of Miami.

Established in 2007 by the Clinton family, CGIU challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. Participants take concrete steps to solve problems by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGIU as they complete their projects.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-students-attend-prestigious-clinton-global-initiative

USM continues to expose its students to opportunities around the world and make a global impact.

The University’s British Studies Program is marking four decades since it began providing students a global and transforming educational experience.

16 courses will be offered through the BSP this summer. Over the past 40 years, USM has sent approximately 9,000 students to London.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/british-studies-program-begins-40th-year-registration-underway

The University has partnered with the Republic of Panama in an initiative known as Panama Bilingue [Bilingual Panama], a project implemented by the president of Panama to ensure its citizens are bilingual in Spanish and English.

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela has pledged to send 1,000 Panamanians per year for the next five years to study English and second language teaching methods. Institutions of higher learning across the English-speaking world are hosting pre-service elementary teachers and teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL).

In early January, Southern Miss welcomed 50 Panamanian educators to campus. Half of the group, pre-service elementary school teachers, will study English at Southern Miss’ English Language Institute for the semester.  The other half, ESL teachers, will be on campus until March 6. These teachers are taking classes on teaching a second language methods and applied linguistics in the Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-assist-panama-becoming-bilingual-country

University faculty and student researchers continue to explore ways to enhance the lives of Mississippians.

With antibiotic-resistant Staph infection becoming more prevalent, University researchers and Forrest General Hospital have embarked on a campaign to reduce the morbidity and mortality in those affected by Staph infections.

The causative agent of most Staph infection is triggered by germs that live on the skin or in the nose of individuals. There are approximately 86,000 cases and 11,000 deaths per year in the United States from what is commonly known as Staph infection.

The study will show risk factors for those in the Southeast United States, and particularly in Mississippi, who are prone to Staph infections and resistant to antibiotics.

The University continues to be a thought-leader in the community and across the state.

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, we hosted the 5th annual Educators Connect conference that highlighted innovative strategies and practical resources for educators. The 2015 conference theme, Faculty Practices for Engaging Learners, emphasized traditional and innovative methods with potential to improve student-learning outcomes.

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek, executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was the keynote speaker.

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/educators-connect-conference-feature-innovative-teaching-techniques

Economic trends and forecasts will take center stage during the Economic Outlook 2015 Forum set for tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 19) at the Thad Cochran Center.

Scheduled speakers include the following:

  • Dr. Paula Tkac, vp and senior economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Dr. Darrin Webb, senior economist, State of Mississippi
  • Dr. Manfred Dix, economist, State of Louisiana
  • Dr. Semoon Chang, economist, Gulf Coast Center for Impact Studies

Read more: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-host-annual-economic-outlook-forum-feb-19